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Building an Interactive Digital Key for the Compositae

DESCRIPTION: In 2010 researchers from the Smithsonian and other institutions worldwide began building an interactive digital key for the largest plant family: the Compositae, or sunflower family. The project, abbreviated VKC, attempts to provide an online tool to identify each of the 25,000+ species of the family, with photographs, maps and phylogenies. Work is currently focused on the species from two geographic areas: North America and the Northern South America. Interns will help to populate the matrix of morphological characters by examining botanical specimens and text-mining taxonomic descriptions of species.

QUALIFICATIONS: Working knowledge of computers (especially Excel) and basics of botany and biology. A major in Biology, Agronomy or Forestry is highly desirable.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES: The intern will gain experience working with herbarium specimens and specifically species of Compositae.

TIMETABLE: Indefinite

AWARD PACKAGE: None

Project Contact Name: Mauricio Diazgranados

Phone: 202-633-0951

E-mail: DiazgranadosM@si.eduBuilding